PCHS girls’ golf wins in tough conditions
When Soldier Hollow hosts the 3A girls’ golf state tournament May 18-19, the greens will be in great shape. However, that wasn’t the case on Wednesday for the Region 10 championship match.
Due to aeration of the greens Monday and Tuesday, the Gold Course was difficult for the Park City High School squad. Even when the Miners had strong drives and good fairway shots, finishing the holes was an adventure. Scores for all five region squads were higher across the board.
Park City senior Sarah Marshall managed to limit the damage of a tough putting day to finish with an 85 to win the tournament. Freshman McKenzie Schow shot a 90 to finish third overall and second for PCHS. As a team, the Miners’ top four scorers turned in a team score of 366 to win the match.
PCHS Coach George Murphy said the Miners did well to earn the scores they did on a windy day with less-than-ideal green conditions.
"On a day like today, to get five scores in the 80s or 90s, we’ll take it," he said. "It didn’t reflect how well they played last week, but they just aerated the greens, so they were in rough shape. It was hard to get the speeds right. A lot of the strokes from these scores were from putting. They’re striking the ball well."
After struggling through most of the back nine, Marshall said a birdie on Hole No. 17 was a big confidence booster.
"That was huge for me," she said. "I’d been missing putts that were five feet and in. Those are the putts we should be making. To make something that was within five feet after missing so many short putts was huge."
With the state tournament on the same course in a couple of weeks, Murphy said he thinks the Miners will be just fine.
"I don’t think [Wednesday’s scores] will hurt their confidence," he said. "They understand the greens aren’t in the best shape. I won’t harp on them too much with that. They’re a little flustered with the results, but they’re still in a good mindset and they should still be confident with where we’re heading the next couple of weeks."
Marshall said she was thinking too much about her score on Wednesday, so she’ll try to direct her attention elsewhere next time she plays at Soldier Hollow.
"This course, you really have to play it hole-by-hole," she said. "If you have an 8 on a par-4, you just have to go to the next hole and say, ‘Well, this is a new challenge.’"
Park City will play a final regular-season match on Monday at Park City Golf Course. Murphy said course management is important at a narrow, tree-filled course like Park City.
"It’s just being smart about the shots they’re hitting," he said. "The key there is not allowing yourself to get too upset or frustrated with a bad hole or a rough couple shots. Over the past however many years we’ve played there with both the boys and the girls, the scores tend to be higher."
On Monday and in the practices at Soldier Hollow leading up to the state tournament, Murphy said the Miners will focus on improving close to the hole.
"We need to practice hitting out of the sand," he said. "We need to work on chipping, sand and putting. We’ll hopefully get them peaking at the right time heading into state."
Monday’s Region 10 match at the Park City Golf Course is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
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